In this article, we will speak about the ultimate travel trends 2021 of this pandemic time we face. Coronavirus has changed many things in our daily life. Speaking about travelling there are still and, there will be for a while, some limitations, restrictions and bans that may keep many travellers waiting for better occasions.
It might be even an intellectual argument about if travelling is even ethical or not. Nevertheless, what has happened worldwide is the arrival of a pandemic with very grave consequences. We hope that humankind is on its way to overcome it and get the remedies to avoid its terrible effects. Anyhow, some of the limitations, the global fears created and many of the social changes about habits, consume, and how we perceive travelling will remain in the middle term. Even though, responsible travelling will be perfectly possible and completely ethical like it has always been. Safety and ethical attitudes have always been part of the real explorers’ non-written code. Travellers will just need updated information and will have to follow simple rules to keep themselves and the others safe and happy.
You can check the article about our trips during 2020 during Covid-19 time, where and how we were able to travel last year. What kind of measures we needed to keep in mind and what our experiences were. Based on that we can say, that many of these limitations will stay with us, some will pass, and some of them will definitely require technical innovations to solve it. Travelling is all our right; just exercise it without harming anyone and get back home leaving something positive wherever you go. Here you can find out what will be the most probable top 10 travel trends for 2021 according to us!
- Last-minute bookings
- Proximity tourism
- Crowd decrease
- Environmental awareness
- Contactless technology
- Immunity passport or health restrictions
- Brokers or travel agents with extra services
- Thinking big or nothing
- Offering revolution
- Working nomads
We were used to low-cost flights and a huge offering for a big number of customers. In that scenario to be quick had its price. The rules of the offering and demand worked very well when they were enough adjusted and the background was stable. We all knew that we could get tickets from Barcelona to Dublin for a weekend four months upfront cheap like chips, and getting a good deal for an accommodation in Moscow was easier before all the reasonable options were already booked by someone else.
Now it is very hard to guess how will be the situation the next month. Even if you will be able to drive a few minutes to visit your family next week. Then can discover some contagions in your neighborhood out of a birthday party and ruin your plans. Moreover, some of the limitations seem to be though to encourage people of making any middle-term plan.
The tickets booked before the pandemic were partially refundable. At least, you had the right of claiming on paper and be very patient waiting for a never arriving solution. But currently, many online brokers warn that you are taking full responsibility in cancellation cases.
We think that logically clients will prefer to book at the very last moment since all the circumstances are uncertain. In addition, since many clients will book at the last minute, the tourist-related companies will be forced to fight for those clients offering important discounts in last minutes offers.
Probably this is one of the most immediate of our ultimate travel trends 2021. Many people identify proximity with safety, even if they remain in countries with worse coronavirus statistics comparing with the countries they might want to go to. On the other hand, many countries will promote the national destinations in order to help the associated sector of their own economy. This happened already last summer, and certainly, they will need it. Many tourists, either because of their safety perception or due to a conscious decision to help their nationals, they will choose to spend time at closer destinations.
A consequence of that will be a strong alternative, secondary, rural destinations that can offer a different experience to those clients. To compensate for the effect of an exotic country or a dream crowded beach spot, those destinations will need to offer extra services or activities that could convince the client of spending their vacations as the first option.
Part of the fears generated during the pandemic will remain. In addition, it will be a part of the population struggling seriously because of the economic crisis. This situation will reduce the number of tourists worldwide. Moreover, among those ones who will travel looking for previous secondary destinations in the proximity will be trendy. Consequently, the concentration of people in the always crowded destinations will be reduced. Thus, it will not be a bad moment to visit them or to explore some of the new services or different experiences that will be launched to catch part of the clients looking for something new or different.
Probably, the decreasing amount of tourists will be more significant during weekends to urban destinations, where it was very cheap to scape thanks to the huge offering of the low-cost flight that will be consequently reduced as well.
The have a good behaviour towards the environment is already trendy. After the pandemic is going to be even more. The awareness about the importance to keep our planet healthy has been revealed as very important for our own sake in short term. To travel to places and to look for activities or services that respect the nature will be an increasing trend.
We have read recently an interview with a scientist who said, “If you want to do something positive with global warming don’t go to Bali on vacation”. Definitely, we do not agree with such statement because of many reasons. Tourism is critical for the economy of many undeveloped countries, especially for those whose working class struggles literally to survive. Moreover, good tourism is an engine for cultural exchange and one of the best tools to create very profitable values, including respect for the global environment. The point must be how we are doing things, how we exercise our right to travel.
Even though, our conclusion is that responsibility, sustainability, ecological care and proximity will be important factors in the tourism of the future.
Contactless technology will inspire travellers trust. Airlines and airports have been the first one on implementing contactless technologies. Some companies like United Airlines or Cathay Pacific offer contactless services to reduce the physical contact between the costumers and with the crews. Check-in, biometric gates at boarding, and modified food service will be some basics that will remain. Hotels and car rental companies have reduce at maximum the contact with the client simplifying the procedures and encouraging the autonomy of the client helped by technology.
Indeed, some of the procedures, especially in airports were already outdated, even before the pandemic. Long lines and long waiting hours in crowds, pretended to guarantee our security by making many controls in the recent past. Currently, what people understand as safety will be not to be in the crowd and that is an opportunity to reduce some of the costs of the companies.
Actually, last summer we spent hours in Barcelona Airport with no services and with many ridiculous safety measures about keeping distances. Nevertheless, we were waiting for a plane that had been canceled before to join in the same flight, like sardines in a can, the passengers of three flights in one to make it profitable. People will appreciate the simplification of many travel procedures that make sense as a win-win for companies and clients, and fortunately, some smart companies have already realized that.
In addition, we have perceived a development and an increasing number or virtual tours to landmarks, museums and culture related activities. Those barely will be a good substitution for the physical experience, but used in a good way could be a useful complement of the whole experience that may remain.
Immunity passport or health restrictions
Some countries, like Israel, have announced the creation of an immunity passport. Many others, like Spain, have said that it will be a kind of document that will prove you have been vaccinated, when you received the dose, and which one was it.
This has created a worldwide debate about the ethic of this control since means to restrict essential rights according to the medical data. In the EU, states like Greece and Spain, very dependent on tourism for their economic health, want to set up an immunity passport to allow the free circulation of people again, at least inside the European Union. Some other countries like France or Germany they are against because that would mean to grant more rights to some citizens than to others.
In a way or another, many countries will make some controls according to those medical data or keep some general restrictions to get in. Therefore, to be updated about the restrictions and the options we will have of travelling according to those criteria will be almost compulsory for a while. Probably, all 2021 long or more.
Brokers or travel agents with extra services
In a scenario with a lack of trust, trustworthy agents will be needed to inspire it. Many travelers have had very bad experiences with cancellations or dealing with the problems that restrictions created. Those restrictions were unstable, many times improvised and implemented quickly.
Therefore, will be needed of experts to recommend safe and secure places, insurance services, and a complete pack to forget about the problems and to help the client to focus only on enjoying the vacation.
Thinking big or nothing
Many people spent almost all of 2020 in their towns, even at home. Even though many of them will be affected by the emerging global economic crisis, there will be some others that have saved a lot of money during the last year. Who was enough lucky to keep the job and the salary had not many occasions to spend many on leisure. There have been long lockdowns, curfews, and many limitations to go to bars, restaurants, or to escape for a weekend with a low-cost flight. It has been a lack of freedom and we all had time to dream enough about where and how we will travel in the next future.
Since part of the fears about safety will be still present, probably many of those tourists instead of reducing costs they will choose better accommodations or finally that dream destination there were postponing for a future with a better budget. The luxury sectors never lose in a crisis, right?
Since the working class is always paying the effects of the crisis. We are thinking about a scenario with less travellers but more money to spend per tourist.
The offering is always about to adapt itself to the context and the demand. Since the wills of the client will change, the offering will do the same. There will be a new marketing for new adapted services.
Companies will offer personal experiences and new destinations using new values to describe them: probably safety instead of adventurous, sustainability instead of fun or relaxing and proximity instead of exoticism. Some of those companies, meaning travel agencies, hotels and all the related businesses will develop specific products to fish into the early-reduced amount of tourist that will travel. We have seen already some examples like the multiplication experiences for families in farms and others that allow performing a cool-for-kids old job. Besides that, we have got frozen reading about new experiences like flights to nowhere or similar very worth to forget.
The development of the on-line, remote working has arrived and it will certainly stay. If it is well used, set up fairly, it would be voluntary and enough ruled it will a clear win-win for workers and companies. Workers will have more free time and the freedom to work from any location with internet connection all over the world and companies will reduce costs. The amount of people who can work this way has increased a lot during the pandemic and some of them have already moved to cheaper countries to live for a determined period or just started a life travelling.
Moreover, the offering of some hotels and tourist apartments has included in their business model by adapting the prices to this possibility. To live on the go is not just an old dream anymore, it is something what has started to be very possible for working-class people, too.